Their efforts at undermining the integrity of personal computers and servers is an ongoing one. As the web grows, so too do the number of threats to safe web browsing. This includes a spike in the number of viruses, malware, ransomware and trojans.
What are the Latest Threats to Your Computer?
Good old-fashioned spam is a major threat to your computer. Many folks consider spam as innocuous junk mail. Unfortunately, spam often includes attachments that will direct you to a computer virus. Malicious spam is also geared towards hacking into email accounts, sending messages to your contacts, and being downright deceptive. There are other threats known as bots and malware. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) cautions users to guard against downloading malware. Avoid clicking on ‘rogue websites’ and never accept free screensavers or free multimedia content. Malware allows cyber criminals to take control of your personal computer remotely. They can then access your data and perpetuate identity theft. This is known as a botnet setup and it is extremely malicious. Other threats that you need to guard against include hacked accounts.
Phishing scams are one way that your personal accounts can be hacked. You may receive an email that masquerades as an authentic company email – from Google, Yahoo, Wells Fargo or Bank of America – requesting your login information. These scams trick you into sending personal information or money to an unknown third party.
Check Your Wireless Network for Enhanced Security
Nowadays, most everyone has wireless Internet. It is affordable, convenient, and easily accessible. With the Internet of things, we can connect multiple devices to the same wireless network, including refrigerators, lights, tablets, phablets, PCs, iPhones, iPads, Androids, Netflix, TVs and so forth. Home wireless Internet makes everything so much easier, but it also presents opportunities to would-be hackers. If the home wireless network is unsecure, it is easy to intercept your communications.
Much the same is true when you access the Internet at a hotel, the airport, your local Starbucks, the gym, or even your work. Be careful how you login, because hackers are always prowling for easy targets. On a similar note, it’s important to keep track of all the devices you have operating on the same Wi-Fi network. If you lose one of your devices and it contains usernames and passwords, this is a massive security breach. In 2012, the Ponemon Institute discovered that 45% of security breaches at corporations resulted from lost mobiles and laptops. It is becoming increasingly important to ensure that data is backed up daily. Viruses, malware, and ransomware have the capacity to completely corrupt your system, erase data or render your computer defunct. We are being faced with new security challenges every day, and vigilance is the only way to safeguard against these ongoing threats.